Sermo and Stoic Sociality in Cicero’s De Officiis

Author: Kennerly, Michele
Title: Sermo and Stoic Sociality in Cicero’s De Officiis
Review/Collection: "Rhetorica", 28, no. 2
Year edition: 2010
Pages: 119-137
Keywords: Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy, Stylistique et genres littéraires - Stilistica e generi letterari - Stylistics and literary genre
Description: [Abstract] In his avowedly Stoic De Officiis, Cicero publicizes the persuasive power of a conversational manner, a communicative style consonant with Stoicism’s emphasis on human togetherness. The relationships between and among conversation (sermo), Stoicism, and rhetoric call for scrutiny, especially since in other works Cicero decries the uselessness of Stoicism to orators of res publica. By connecting Stoicism with sermo, and sermo with oratory-glory, Cicero fits Stoicism to Rome’s political contours and also ushers future leaders of public affairs into both rhetorical and philosophical conversation—mild-mannered modes of discourse—during a politically turbulent time.
Author initials: Kennerly 2010